Zainab* grew up in a farming community in Sierra Leone. As the older daughter in the family, she had to work hard on the land and never attended school. At age 15, she became the first wife of a man who took another two wives.
Zainab became pregnant and went to a traditional birth attendant when the baby came to term. After a long and painful labor, she eventually delivered a stillborn baby.
Shortly following this heartbreaking event, Zainab became aware that she was leaking urine. She became very depressed and thought that she was the only woman who faced this condition. Circumstances became even more difficult when her husband left her. Zainab thought about ending her own life.
Then one day, Zainab learned that she was not the only one with this condition. A health worker came to her village and told the community her own story. The worker had also once been leaking urine, but she had received treatment and was healed. Zainab was filled with hope. She spoke to the health worker and received information about the Aberdeen Women’s Centre. When she travelled to the Centre and met the other women there, she became aware that many others shared her problem.
Zainab has had her operation and received postoperative care. Her time at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre transformed her life: Clinic staff observed that she was one of the happiest women on the ward. Indeed, she no longer felt sad and alone, but encouraged. Zainab brought joy to those around her.
*This name has been changed.